Archbishop Charles Chaput said that Catholic president-elect Joe Biden should not receive Holy Communion because of his support for the “grave moral evil” of abortion.
Writing in the magazine First Things on Dec. 4, the archbishop emeritus of Philadelphia warned that individual bishops who publicly announce their intention to give Biden Communion risk doing a “serious disservice” to Biden and to the rest of the American bishops….
Chaput, who retired as archbishop of Philadelphia in January 2020, noted that when he was a serving diocesan bishop, he was not always in favor of publicly denying politicians Communion over their political stances.
Chaput recalled that in 2004, John Kerry – a Catholic – was the Democratic nominee for president and took policy stances at odds with the Church’s moral teaching, a situation which resulted in “internal tensions among U.S. bishops about how to handle the matter of Holy Communion.”
“At the time, Washington’s then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, along with Pittsburgh’s Bishop Donald Wuerl [who succeeded McCarrick in Washington], had very different views from my own regarding how to proceed,” Chaput said.
“What I opposed in 2004… was any seeming indifference to the issue, any hint in a national bishops’ statement or policy that would give bishops permission to turn their heads away from the gravity of a very serious issue….”
During their Fall general assembly last month, the U.S. bishops noted that Biden’s public Catholicism and his policy platform presented a unique set of challenges for the bishops as they sought to work with the incoming administration.
The conference president, Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, closed the meeting on Nov. 17 by announcing the creation of a bishops’ working group to prepare for the Biden presidency….
As the archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Gregory would be Biden’s local bishop when he arrived in the White House. In his interview, the cardinal dismissed the possible “confusion” over Church teaching caused by a Catholic president promoting unrestricted access to abortion.
“It’s not a matter of confusion,” Gregory said. “On my part, it’s a matter of the responsibility that I have as the archbishop to be engaged and to be in dialogue with him, even in those areas where we obviously have some differences.”
Chaput wrote on Friday that “Those bishops who publicly indicate in advance that they will undertake their own dialogue with President-elect Joseph Biden and allow him Communion effectively undermine the work of the task force established at the November bishops’ conference meeting to deal precisely with this and related issues….”
The above comes from First Things via a Dec. 4 story on the site of the Catholic News Agency.